A Mother, Philosopher, Writer And Dancer

That was and still is part of my bio on original twitter that I opened in 2010 and nothing has happened to warrant a change in that line. I am a mother because I have a daughter; a philosopher because that is the way I think. I actively write and although I do not dance as often as I used to, it is still a large part of my identity – expression through music.

I am of dual cultural heritage: I was born in the UK to a mother who is English and a father who is Jamaican. I left school with very little qualifications and ended up as a cashier for a supermarket. By the time people my age were graduating from university; I was a homeless single parent with no future beyond the next meal.

My interests have always been beyond my scope and from a young age I endeavoured to educate myself my own way. This passion for knowledge led me to eventually graduate with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Sociology without any prior qualification or experience. Unfortunately, this lack of experience in academia left me without a path to continue my education.

One of the greatest difficulties I face is describing myself. Selling skills and experience is a crucial element of introduction in professional circles. It is how one is able to beat the hundreds of applicants to desirable jobs or funding for research. Being persuasive is a skill that philosophers are supposed to have inherently – but I am a philosopher even though I struggle with coherent communication.

I have worked for 13 years in a variety of roles within education, finance, and care; yet I have not found a role that is suitable for me in the long run. I spent four years after graduation in a variety of admin roles until eventually my difficulties caught up with me. Six months before my 30th birthday, I received a clinical diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mixed Face: An Answer to the Question; Am I Autistic? documents this journey of knowledge acquisition, identity confusion and philosophical observation through the emergence of awareness of autism.

My 11 year old daughter is seemingly neurotypical. Contrary to the way that many women are diagnosed with autism, it was not ‘discovered’ through a child’s assessment process. I had always been different – it is not just feeling different.

The structure of modern society is detrimental to those who are on the spectrum. It was through years of suffering in silence that I found the answers to the questions I did not think to ask. So, the question remains: What am I going to do about it?

My primary academic interests are in epistemology and theory of the mind – I question what we know, how we know it and how we can verify the claims to that knowledge. What claim to knowledge do I have? My lived experience.

At this point the purpose of this is to share that experience.

The only claim to truth I have is my perspective.

Judge it as you will.